Tamale has a population of approximately 950,000 and is the capital of the Northern Region of Ghana – one of the poorest of the country. While Ghana has experienced economic growth over the past years and overall poverty has halved in recent years, rural poverty has barely dropped. Furthermore, in contrast to other regions, Tamale has been affected by armed conflict between ethnic groups over land rights and political representation. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of poverty and instability.
Since 2008, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tamale.
Despite Ghana’s overall economic development in recent years, many rural areas remain very poor.
An estimated 40% of the population in Ghana’s drought-prone Northern Region continues to face chronic food insecurity as many crops fail in these dry weather conditions.
In addition, there is a widespread lack of infrastructure, basic social services and safe drinking water.
Although the Ghanaian government is taking steps to ensure free basic education for all, many girls are still disadvantaged when it comes to education in the Northern Region.
In fact, around 6 in 10 females have no formal education. This is in part due to poverty and the amount of work expected of girls in the home, and in part due to early marriage.
A lack of education impedes girls’ future socio-economic success and makes it harder for them to break the cycle of poverty as adults.